The first three are poems on a theme.

The Buckskin Mare

She was stoutly built and rugged and I knew that I was buggered
When I drew her number (13) from the judges’ sweaty hat.
Still, I figured I would try it, because if I didn’t “buy it”,
If I went the full eight seconds I’d be in the money fat.

So with visions of bones breaking and my knees and teeth a-shaking,
I climbed onto the chute above her sturdy golden back.
As I lowered down astride her, praying hard that I could ride her,
I could swear she sneered back at me with her lips so sooty black.

On the first jump she exploded and at once my grit eroded
Into tiny little fragments floating off into the night.
And with each ugly contortion, every angry mare’s distortion
Went my grip upon the rope and any hope to stay alight.

Well the next I was aware of I was being taken care of
By a doctor who was bandaging, and bragging at my fate.
“Never seen anything like it, triple somersault and spiked it!
Landed squarely on your noggin’, but you stayed on her for eight!”

As the cowboys came and found me, shook my hand and all surrounded me,
Exclaiming at my talent (and the money I’d collect),
I looked over at the mare and as I watched her I could swear
Before she turned to eat her hay, her big head nodded in respect.

This Mare

She whispers to me,
this mare,
in the sigh of sweet breath through
wide velvet nostrils.
“Come lay with me
in carpets of green,
in coolness of gums by the river’s deep silence.”

She whispers to me,
this mare,
in the endless depths of eyes that
examine my soul.
“Come run with me
on beaches of chrystal,
on sweltering sand where the tides rage and roar.”

She whispers to me,
this mare,
in the nicker of welcome when
I creep to her stall in the evening’s peace.
“Trust me, trust me,
trust me.”

Morning Mares

Morning spring sun slanting
on the herd, warming, sleepy
mares stand or lay down.

This Town

It’s a town lost in time, full of dust, dirt and grime;
Rotting wood and old tin sheets are tacked to
The house where I was born, today jaded, forlorn,
Yet the place that I often come back to.

Just a decade ago, the place bustled and glowed
When the rains fell and water was plenty.
But then came the drought and the farmers moved out
Leaving paddocks and properties empty.

For a few years we stayed as my Dad took a trade,
Gradually others gave in, such a pity.
As the people all left, tired, broke and bereft,
We, too, packed up and moved to the city.

When I visit the place, wistful look on my face,
Ever wondering if enough rain could
Wash the dirt and the dust and the rot and the rust
And revive this old town of my childhood.

Cobby’s Bloody Sheep

The lamb had run under the wire
As we headed for the shed.
“Bloody sheep!” was Cobby’s mutter,
“Need a bullet to the head.”

Cobby hated handling sheep
Hated lambing even more,
As he climbed over the fence
For the umpteenth time he swore.

“Swear to God I’ll switch to cattle,
At least cows have got some brains.
Bloody sheep are bloody stupid,
Half ‘em die each time it rains!”

Cobby ran around the stray,
Mamma bawling from the pen.
We could hear his hissing mutter
As it dodged him once again.

“I dunno why God created
Such as stupid thing as sheep.
Yeah, I think I’ll switch to cattle,
So much easier to keep.”

But as Cobby caught the lamb
And took it back to grateful Mum,
We could see him softly pat it
As he called it “bloody dum!”